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One of the best things about living in Tampa is getting to experience all of the incredible sunsets. Many Tampa area locals, like myself, know some of the best places to get the full, breathtaking experience. So for all you sunset fanatics, here is a list of some of the best local places to watch a sunset in Tampa Bay (and we’ve included a few sunrise options, too!).

Updated February 2024 by Brie Gorecki

Best Places to Watch a Tampa Bay Sunset Together

Enjoying a beautiful sunset together is one of the best parts of living in Florida – visiting too. Summer sunsets tend to get all the attention but sunset times get earlier in the evening starting in September and hit that middle sweet spot during the spring, making it nice to enjoy the sunset during dinner time, especially at waterfront restaurants, or even happy hour.

Plus there’s a new way to enjoy a Tampa Bay sunset, aboard the CRAFT dinner cruise.

Clearwater Beach

1 Causeway Blvd., Clearwater
While Clearwater is a notoriously busy beach, it is also known for its breathtaking sunsets. If you don’t want to stay on the physical beach you can enjoy Pier 60, which is a massive boardwalk. Make the most of your visit by checking out Sunsets at Pier 60, a nightly sunset celebration with street performers. The celebration begins an hour before sunset and continues until an hour past sundown.

If you want to spend the day at the beach, check out the resort day pass available for the nearby Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa. Day passes include beach and pool access, a discount on bike rentals, and more. The resort is located within walking distance of Pier 60.

Ballast Point Park

5300 Interbay Blvd., Tampa
Located right at the end of Bayshore Blvd, Ballast Point Park is an ideal place to watch the sunrise. Soak in views of the downtown skyline and the rich colors reflecting off of the water in the bay. If you have time to spare, stroll the fishing pier that takes you far out into the bay and watch for dolphin.

Image credit: City of Tampa

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park

600 N. Ashley Dr., Tampa
Located right downtown and framed by the University of Tampa, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is stretched out on about eight acres of land. Grab a blanket and enjoy a picnic on the Great Lawn to watch the sun sink down behind the university.

This popular downtown park is also home to the monthly Rock the Park Tampa outdoor concert series. This free in-person live music event that’s perfect for a budget-friendly date night.

More Tampa area beaches for a sunset:

Photo Credit: Pier 60

Davis Islands Beach

864 Severn Ave., Tampa
One of my favorite places to watch the sunset is Davis Islands Beach. Framed by anchored boats, this small beach has plenty of space to bring a couple of friends or to enjoy with your significant other. If you want to see the beach sunset from another angle, sit on the rocks.

Have a dog? Bring your pup along to splash and play at the dog beach.

From the Water

There’s nothing like soaking up a Tampa Bay sunset right from the water. For the ultimate sunset date, book two seats on a local sunset tour.

A few of our favorites are Get Up and Go Kayaking Tampa Bay’s Shell Key Sunset & Glow Tour, out of Tierra Verde, which features clear kayaks and LED lights to illuminate the water after dark (read about our experience on another of their awesome tours HERE).

If you’re in the city and want to cruise downtown, Tampa Bay Funboat‘s sunset cruises depart outside the Convention Center and allow you to bring your own libations (with valid I.D.).

If dolphin watching excites you, head to the Dunedin Marina for a sunset cruise on the 47′ ParrotDise Express, which provides a “superior dolphin sighting experience”.

Watch a Sunset in Tampa Bay - Shell Key Sunset Kayaking
Image credit: Get Up and Go Kayaking Tampa Bay

Restaurants and Bars in Tampa Bay for Sunset Views

M. Bird Rooftop Bar

1903 N. Market St., Tampa
Thanks to its west-facing location and elevated rooftop digs, M. Bird, within Armature Works, is one of the most coveted downtown rooftop bars for soaking up sunset views on the horizon with a cocktail in hand.

Hitch a ride on the Pirate Water Taxi or stroll the Tampa Riverwalk to get there and grab dinner from one of the vendors inside of Heights Public Market before heading upstairs for your sunset toast.

Beacon Rooftop Bar

510 Water Street, Tampa
Beacon is located at the JW Marriott Water Street and is Tampa’s highest (and second highest in Florida) public rooftop cocktail and dining destination, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the city skyline and Tampa’s waterfront.

This midcentury-meets-modern bar serves up signature drinks and delectable tastes and is perfect for viewing a West Coast sunset from high above.

beacon rooftop bar cocktails
The Wishing Well (left) and Sage Before Beauty (right) from Beacon’s cocktail menu.

Check out these other rooftop bars in Tampa for more sunset viewing with a drink in hand.

Azure at The Tampa EDITION Hotel

500 Channelside Dr., Tampa
The EDITION Hotel is a luxury hotel that is home to Azure Mediterranean restaurant – a gorgeous rooftop, poolside setting sure to impress. Drinks and small bites are available at some very cool poolside daybeds.

Whiskey Joe’s

7720 W. Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa
Located right on the Courtney Campbell Causeway near the airport, Whiskey Joe’s is a great place to grab a bite to eat and enjoy the sunset. Sit indoors, outside on the spacious deck, or listen to live music from the outdoor stage at the beach bar.

The restaurant is structured on a peninsula surrounded by the bay so you will have plenty of room to get that cute pic of the Tampa Bay sunset.

Want to enjoy the sunset from the beach? Their private beach has plenty of lounge chairs and space to play cornhole while sipping a cocktail. Or, stroll right next door to the public Ben T. Davis Beach for scenic views.


2900 Bayport Dr., Tampa
Want to dine with spectacular sunset views? Located at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, Oystercatchers makes for a romantic date to dine and watch the sunset. This upscale restaurant is one of the best scenic waterfront restaurants in Tampa Bay and features a dockside lounge, outdoor deck and seating, a private beach, and an interior that is framed by large windows.

Image credit: Oystercatchers

The Hurricane Rooftop Bar

809 Gulf Way, St. Pete Beach
Just down from The Don CeSar on St. Pete Beach in Pass-A-Grille lies the Hurricane Restaurant & Rooftop Bar. Take in stunning 360 degree views of the beach and bay while the sun sinks down over the water and listen for the sunset bell, which has rung at sunset every night for over 22 years.

To make your experience extra special, contact the Head Ding Dong (yep, that’s what he calls himself) to ring the bell yourself with your sweetheart and become a part of Pass-a-Grille’s rich history.

Level 11

5250 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach
Impress your date and toast to the sunset from the 11th floor of the Bellwether Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach at Level 11‘s wraparound outdoor terrace. Perks include front row seats to watch the sunset, a robust drink menu, and shareable apps.

If you want to make it an overnight, this bar is less than a 5-minute walk from Postcard Inn On The Beach and TradeWinds Island Grand Resort.

Bonus idea – 360 Rooftop Lounge at The Hotel Zamora, also on St. Pete Beach

Level 11 Rooftop Lounge
Image credit: Grand Plaza Hotel

Opal Sands Waterfront Sandbar

430 S. Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater
If you want to spend all day on the beach but grab a bite to eat while enjoying the sunset, then check out the Sandbar located at Opal Sands Resort in Clearwater. Situated right on the water, this massive tiki hut covers the bar if you are looking for a cool and shady spot with sunset views.

Salt Shack on the Bay

5415 W. Tyson Ave., Tampa
Located in the Tampa Westshore Marina district, Salt Shack on the Bay boasts locally-caught seafood and has unobstructed westerly views overlooking Old Tampa Bay, perfect for sunset-watching. Its prime location just south of the Gandy bridge is also accessible by sea, making it the perfect spot for dinner after a day out on the boat.

“Dock up or drive up” to their casual, waterfront restaurant and tiki bar, and enjoy a tasty cocktail while listening to live music.
Bonus: dolphin sightings are common.

Photo credit: Zoë Joiner.

Feature image credit: Get Up and Go Kayaking Tampa Bay